Sutcliffe agrees to extend deal as Rhinos face ‘transition’

Liam Sutcliffe has signed a new deal with Leeds Rhinos.
Liam Sutcliffe has signed a new deal with Leeds Rhinos.
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Teenager Liam Sutcliffe has committed his long-term future to Leeds Rhinos by extending his current Headingley deal.

The 19-year-old – who can play at stand-off, loose-forward or in the centres – only signed a new contract at Leeds last year, but the new deal will tie him down until the end of 2017.

“As soon as (chief executive) Gary Hetherington said the club would like to offer me a longer deal I was more than happy to sign,” said the former Hunslet Warriors amateur.

“I grew up dreaming of playing for the Rhinos and there is no other club I want to play for.

“Last season was great for me because of the amount of game time I was able to get and that has given me a lot of confidence going into next season.

“Pre-season has been great so far, especially because we have got so many players in for the whole build up. Training alongside all our experienced players gives me and all the young lads a great boost and drives us on.

“I heard the comments Gary Hetherington made about building a squad for the future around our young players and that does give us a boost,” added Sutcliffe, a member of the Rhinos’ Challenge Cup-winning team last season.

“The squad will have a period of transition over the next few years and for all the squad to know the vision for us as a group is reassuring and acts as motivation for us to carry on the great tradition of success over the last decade.

“I know 2015 is a big year for me to cement my place in the squad and I am doing everything I can in pre-season to make sure I make the most of the opportunity.”

Relegated Super League side Bradford Bulls will face Yorkshire neighbours Halifax in next season’s Summer Bash.

Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road will host a full round of Kingstone Press Championship fixtures over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in May 2015.

On Saturday May 23, the action kicks off with the final of the League 1 Cup – a new competition which features all 14 League 1 teams alongside West Hull and East Leeds from the National Conference League.

That’s followed by the Cumbrian derby, Workington Town v Whitehaven (2.30pm), Sheffield Eagles face London Broncos (4.45pm), before the Bulls and Halifax resume rivalries.

Sunday sees Batley Bulldogs tackle Dewsbury Rams (12.45pm), while Hunslet Hawks play Doncaster (3.00pm). Featherstone Rovers look to avenge their Championship Grand Final defeat to Leigh Centurions (5.15pm).

Tickets, starting from just £20 for the day and £30 for the weekend, are now on sale.